Metal Type in the 21st Century

by Fred Showker

Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century: Jim Rimmer

'Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century' is a fascinating design documentary by Richard Kegler that captures the personality and work process of the late Canadian graphic artist and type designer Jim Rimmer (1931-2010).

Making Faces focuses on one man's dedication to his craft and relays the details of creating a metal typeface, while also conveying this passion to anyone who values the "hand-made" in today's world of convenience. Jim Rimmer's good humor and intelligent description of his process make it an enjoyable viewing experience for those who are even vaguely interested in how things are made.

details of creating a metal typeface

In 2008, P22 type foundry commissioned Jim Rimmer to create a new type design, RTF Stern, that became the first-ever simultaneous release of a digital font and hand-set metal font. Rimmer was one of only a few who possessed the skills needed to create a metal font.

Shot in High Definition, this film documents the creation of a new typeface from the preliminary sketches through the cutting and casting of a single letter. The film offers a unique opportunity to share Jim's knowledge with the world.

Clearly anyone interested in type design, letterpress printing and graphic processes would see Making Faces as something inspiring and essential, as there are few films focusing on these topics.

Richard Kegler is founder and lead designer of P22 type foundry. He is also currently director of the WNY Book Arts Center in Buffalo NY. Kegler has a Masters degree from the Department of Media Study and the University at Buffalo

Here's a better sample -- the trailer for the film:

This film is a unique opportunity to share Jim's knowledge, processes and passions with the world.

45 minute documentary Region Free DVD Package includes:

  • 45 minute documentary
  • In depth bonus features on the type making process
  • Newly digitized rare silent film from the 1930s: “The Creation of a Printing Type from the Design to The Print by Frederic W. Goudy”
  • One actual piece of cast metal type
  • Click to see full DVD cover

"Making Faces" page at P22
Purchase : $24.95
About John Rimmer
Making Faces blog
Making Faces page at
The WNY Book Arts Center
Mentioned in article above: Stern is a typographic first: it marks the first time a font is simultaneously released both digitally and in metal. (RTF Stern Pic)

thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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